A barbecue is a great way to entertain family and friends in the summer, but your cat may not see things in quite the same way as you. Cats are social animals and they enjoy the company of people whom they know and trust, but they’re not usually keen on strangers, nor on a sudden change in their routine. In addition, barbecues are hot and they may be dangerous. This may not be the best place for your cat to be.
If you’re having a barbecue and there are going to be loud noises, hot dangerous things and clouds of smoke, your cat is not likely to enjoy it anyway. Barbecues, by definition, are hot; they can also be dangerous. Your cat may be tempted by the enticing aromas it can smell to investigate what’s going on and, more important, what’s cooking.
If your cat is of a calm disposition and keeps very much to himself, it may be fine. But if it’s the sort of cat that curiosity gets the better of, this might not be the best place for it to be.
TAKE A BACK SEAT
Cats are social animals and they enjoy the company of people they trust, but they prefer their social interchange on a quiet, one-to-one basis. Taking these considerations into account, it might therefore be better – if the layout of your house allows – to shut the cat securely in a separate room, where it will feel safe and out of the way of all loud and intrusive festivities.
It’s a good idea to keep cats indoors if you are having a barbecue. If you have a young cat sitter to help, all the better!
Q. My cat’s had kidney problems and he’s on a special diet. I’d like to give him some meat from the barbecue as a treat. Is this all right?
A kidney-friendly diet is low in protein, so your cat shouldn’t eat much meat. A little white meat, such as chicken, is fine occasionally.
Q. My cat’s curious and he tries to get as close to the barbecue as possible. I am nervous that he’s going to burn himself. Is this a danger?
Yes. If I were you, I’d do everything I can to stop the cat getting too close, even if this means shutting it indoors.
Q. Whenever I have a barbecue, the food and lights seem to attract a lot of insects, which drives my cat crazy. Is there anything I can do?
- Set lights at a high level and a distance away. Citronella candles help deter mosquitoes.
- Barbecue coals stay hot for a long time after you have finished cooking, so make sure everything has cooled down before you let your cat out again.
- Do not pour water over the barbecue to put out the coals: the shock may warp the metal.
- Bear in mind that cooking food outside in summer will usually attract wasps, so if your cat is about it may get stung.